IT Service Management maturity is typically broken out into five levels. There are plenty of different names for each level, but the idea behind each one remains the same. In this post, we will use the following terms for each level.
Reactive – Responding to individual user challenges and requests as they occur.
Efficient – Having a systematic approach to solving known issues and managing daily tasks.
Proactive – Anticipating common issues and automating repetitive tasks as well as any appropriate remedial actions.
Aligned – Tracking and meeting service level agreements or basic performance expectations.
Strategic – Achieving IT operational excellence and taking a strategic role in driving business innovation.
We will begin by covering how to move from Level 1 – Reactive to Level 2 – Efficient. Typically, the most common barriers preventing organizations from moving beyond a reactive state are a lack of communication, knowledge, and process. The first step to progress toward Level 2 is to speak with your end-users and learn what their biggest challenges are when it comes to engaging your service organization. You might be surprised at what you learn by having those conversations. However, it is important to keep in mind that communication does not always reach every part of the organization. If there is dissatisfaction with the service provider, it is often communicated to those at higher levels within the organization. This is why you should talk to users at every level, including leadership, to find out what they are hearing.
It is incredibly difficult to run a service organization without having some understanding of issues that arise most often versus those that are uncommon or just one-off occurrences. Attaining this type of historical data provides the basis for generating some level of metrics.
Whichever way you go about gathering metrics, apply the 80/20 model to identify problems that are most common and therefore taking up a majority of your team’s time. Once you learn which issues are most prevalent, map out a defined and repeatable process for resolving them. You do not need to have a fully polished and comprehensive process or one that tries to account for every possible variation. Just outline some basic steps. For example, define which group usually attends to a particular type of problem, then determine a way to communicate and enforce this as a standard process.
Going through the exercise of outlining steps to resolve the most common issues will put your team on the path to become much more efficient and far less reactive. With extra time and capacity resulting from your efforts, you can focus more on moving forward the initiative of moving up to the next level of IT Service Management maturity.
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